What to do if I’m being sued by a bank for overdraft fees at occurred 5 years ago?

UPDATED: Oct 29, 2011

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What to do if I’m being sued by a bank for overdraft fees at occurred 5 years ago?

What is the statute of limitations on this type of bad debt?

Asked on October 29, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You evidentally know the most important thing to do: check the statute of  limitations. The statute of limitations is different for each state and also each type of cause of action, or grounds for a lawsuit. Nonpayment of overdraft fees is most likely a cause of action arising under a written contract: the account agreement between you and the bank. You don't indicate which state you are from, so you need to look it up for your state. Generally speaking, though, the statutory period for a claim like is most commonly 4 years (e.g. CA, TX) or 6 years (e.g. NY, NJ), though there are some states, like OH with very long statutes of limitation (15 years!). The statotory period starts running from when you defaulted--i.e. from when you should have paid, but did not. Depending on your state, it is *possible* that the statute fo limitations has been exceeded, though if the bank has a law firm representing them, the odds are that they've checked and only filed the action because  they have time. Still, it would be a good idea for you to double check, too.

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